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Getting older - options?

(29 Posts)
Eclipsemum Mon 15-Jul-19 10:46:36

Hi all,

I hope you can help. My Mum is approaching 70, is no longer with my Father and has not got a huge amount of money (mainly just her small house). She’s not spoken at length about what she plans to do in the future, because at some point soon she is going to run out of money and will have to sell the house just to have money to live. What are the best accommodation options for you when you get to your 60s/70s? She wants to live independently (and can) for as long as possible but has raised the idea of us creating our summer house into a granny annexe which isn’t impossible, but probably not ideal (it’s v small) although it may allow her to help with childcare.
Are retirement communities reasonably priced? Are there any options I’m not aware of? We live in North Surrey so not that cheap... there are a lot of “over 60 lease to buy” type properties for sale?
I’d love anyone’s advice.

travelsafar Mon 15-Jul-19 10:50:18

Why not apply for sheltered housing with local council or housing association. She could then sell her house and use the money to live on. But before doing that has she applied for any help benefit wise, she may be eligable for pension credit, council tax rebate, help with her gas and electric bills through the keeping warm scheme, not sure what it is called but i am sure someone on here will know.

Grannyjay Mon 15-Jul-19 10:53:15

Whatever she decides to do I would advise her to start planning now. An annexe in the garden sounds a great idea and when you are on your own you need very little space. Just somewhere to cook, wash and sleep. She would be able to keep her independence and help you but please don’t take her for granted. I’ve seen many friends who are just used as free childcare and little else. Good luck.

glammanana Mon 15-Jul-19 10:53:33

Do you have in your area any Housing Associations that have supported housing schemes,the properties are totally self contained and usually one bedroomed your mum can be visited from once a week to every day by a support officer or not at all if she desires.
Depending on her financial circumstances she can apply for help with the rent and council tax payments its well worth getting her name on the Housing Association list for the future.

Septimia Mon 15-Jul-19 10:54:29

You can buy residential quality cabins from less than £10,000. Of course, there might be planning permission to deal with - but not always, I gather - and provision of services to it. But it might be better than converting your summerhouse if you have room for it.

FlexibleFriend Mon 15-Jul-19 11:20:49

What would be the point in selling her house in order to live and then buy an over 60's lease to buy? I don't know about elsewhere but here sheltered housing seem to be used for people with drug issues so doubt it's suitable for her.

Justme67 Mon 15-Jul-19 11:41:01

What is "a lot of money"? If she has a pension, is she also getting any 'extras' which she might be able to claim? Does she want to stay in her home? Would she really be happy in a granny annexe, would you? It is difficult to give someone any advice, without knowing them, but moving home/house is a major step, and without first looking at all cash which is available to live on, and then the alternatives no decision can be reached. Moving and making friends (which is really important) is difficult at any age and the older you get it doesn't get any easier. Take time to consider things carefully

Riverwalk Mon 15-Jul-19 11:47:53

glamma can people go on HA waiting lists if they already own their own property?

An annexe in the garden sounds a great idea and when you are on your own you need very little space

Speak for yourself! Grannyjay

Let's put the old girl of 70 in the garden shed and 'allow' her to babysit!

janeainsworth Mon 15-Jul-19 11:51:34

Speak for yourself! Grannyjay Let's put the old girl of 70 in the garden shed and 'allow' her to babysit!

Just what I was thinking Riverwalk!
In case any of my DC are stalking me on here, you can forget that optiongrin

luluaugust Mon 15-Jul-19 12:48:18

Eclipsemum I am just wondering if you are worrying more than mum is at present, you say she hasn't said much. If she owns her house make sure she has all the benefits she is entitled to. I hate to say it but 70 is still quite young (I think) and I think you may have a bit more time before you have to worry about garden sheds. Its nice you are a daughter who is just trying to think ahead

Gonegirl Mon 15-Jul-19 12:52:25

Riverwalk and ja So agree with you. grin

The OP makes it sounds as though the help with childcare is the one (and only) saving grace to having her live in the garden.

EllanVannin Mon 15-Jul-19 12:59:49

Riverwalk, if the property is on the market then anyone can apply for a housing association home/flat/apartment and once sold can then move in when one becomes available in the area to your liking of course.
I'd sold a property before I came into my housing association flat and I've never looked back. It feels like my " own " place and it really is lovely and a place I'm happy to be in.
I have a support officer who visits twice a week and I've also got an emergency link-line attached to the landline phone should I need the emergency services.

It's ideal for independent living in your " older " age.

Urmstongran Mon 15-Jul-19 13:48:40

I like living in small places.

We have 2 tiny apartments. One here and one in Spain.
Not much housework ✅
Small utility bills ✅
Little decorating and furnishing needs ✅

Which = time freed up for what I like doing not jobs that ‘have’ to be done!

Bridgeit Mon 15-Jul-19 13:59:13

As it is her suggestion & not yours it could work, but you need to have a proper talk about the ‘ what ifs’ & perhaps seek legal advice for the future.

M0nica Mon 15-Jul-19 14:10:13

Why will she need to sell her house to live? I assume she has a state pension and can apply for pension credit, Council Tax credit etc.

While not wishing to suggest she is a spendthrift. It might be sensible for her to sit down and go through her spending patterns and bank account, to check their are no redundant standing orders or direct debits going out, and whether she could perhaps spend her money more efficiently. Has she been on comparison sites to check she has the most economic fuels suppliers, household insurance etc.

She should look, or you could look for her on the this Age UK site

I am sure she can find ways of managing her money and not having to move house.

BlueBelle Mon 15-Jul-19 14:10:17

I don’t understand why she has to sell ‘to live’ if she owns her house and it’s paid for, doesn’t she get a pension ? that’s all I live on, perfectly comfortably I think and 70 is YOUNG
I m wondering apart from living in your garden what advantage she would have by moving from one small place to another

Grannyjay Mon 15-Jul-19 15:29:24

I cannot see where I put for her to babysit. Just joined this site and now realising your comments can be twisted from some readers

Grannyjay Mon 15-Jul-19 15:32:52

I did not say “allow her to babysit” I said don’t take her for granted. Some people like my own mother do not want to live in a large house which is more expensive to heat and more to clean. Please read my comment again.
Just saying

Esspee Mon 15-Jul-19 16:11:30

Is your mother a very old 70 OP? Most 70 year olds I know enjoy very active fulfilling lives are happily living in their own homes. If my children suggested moving me to sheltered accommodation I would be horrified.

Riverwalk Mon 15-Jul-19 16:22:30

Grannyjay I didn't quote you as saying that - my quote from your post is correct.

The OP refers to 'allow' help with childcare.

M0nica Mon 15-Jul-19 16:51:38

I am over 75, just got back from my Tai Chi class, about to get on with decorating the spare bedroom and then catalogue recent purchases for our antiques stall.

You say she is coming up to 70, does that mean 67,68,69? As everyone says, 70 is not old and nowadays, unless she has been very unfortunate with major physical or mental health problems, she should be living life much as she always did (unless she was a high wire acrobat).

You seem to know very little about her options yourself, so possibly have done little research. I think the best plan is to look at the Age UK site, read some of their fact sheets and if necessary talk to them. There will be a local branch.

Inkins52 Sun 08-Mar-20 15:45:51

What are the downsides of living with your grown up family?
What would happen to your mum if you decide to move away but she wanted to stay in the area?
You say the garden summer house is her suggestion. How do you and your husband feel about that. Doesn't that restrict your independence as well?

Hetty58 Sun 08-Mar-20 16:01:16

Eclipsemum, my neighbour was in a similar position to your mum. She explored all the options, equity release, retirement community flat, lifetime lease etc.

Her final opinion was that there are a lot of clever people exploiting the elderly and becoming very rich with these 'rip off' options. I must say I agree 100%.

Eventually, she decided she had the right to spend her own money - on herself. She sold her cottage, went on an extended cruise, then rented a local ground floor flat near the shops and tube.

If she eventually runs out of capital, there's housing benefit, help with council tax, pension credit etc.

pinkquartz Sun 08-Mar-20 16:21:26

Who says a person on their own needs little space!

1, space needed for visitors, room for seating so people can come and sit down
2, might like cooking or needlework or ??? but you might need room to store your stuff
3, a visitor who you want to stay over, where is the spare bed going?
4, a pet?
5, bookshelves

Please think again. I live in a small one bed HA bungalow and the space is very cramped. The rooms are too small and not enough storage.
Why do people think you don't want anything?

There is isn't even room to put up a clothes airer.

I don't need or want a whole house but my space is cluttered because I have hobbies and lots of books.

wildswan16 Sun 08-Mar-20 16:31:00

Is the house mortgage free? If so, is it far too big for her?

Presumably she has a pension - are you sure she is receiving the correct amount, any additional benefits etc?

Is she still fit and healthy? 70 isn't old at all, is she still able to be independent or are their major health issues?

Have you had a conversation with her to find out what she wants to do with the next 30 years of her life?